ECO Newsletter: Week of February 26, 2018

Hi all,

It is almost March, so spring is almost sprung! In policy landscape news, there’s a sort of internecine war between environmental advocates of 100% renewable energy and those who only believe something like 75% renewable energy is feasible. Team 100% suffered a bit of a recent blow this past week, which you can read about here. Which side are you on? Before you answer, we here at ECO would like to encourage you to help the world get into the double digits before arguing about whether the full 100% is practical. Feel like getting a crash course in 100 percentism? What might it require? Read this. Good luck with all of your work! Spring Break approacheth.






One of our esteemed ECO alumni (and former co-president), Lia Cairone, recently spoke at the UN General Assembly Global Engagement Summit about climate issues in New York City! She works here in NY at the Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs. You can find the video here (her remarks begin at 4:35). If this sparks your interest, feel to contact her on LinkedIn



Women in Sustainability: Navigating Your Career

Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m

Location: Faculty House, Presidential Room 2

This event focuses on how women navigate careers in sustainability, exploring the female perspective on professional development and advancement in this growing field. The panel features an impressive group of women working in diverse sustainability roles, including sustainable finance, corporate sustainability, and green building. The panelists will speak to some of the specific challenges and opportunities for women in this field, as well as to some of the universal challenges that many professional women face today – such as finding mentors, managing family responsibilities, dealing with bias, and more. The discussion explores the challenges and solutions for women at all levels of their careers. The panel will also provide insight into leadership behaviors and practices that help support career growth. The goal of this event is to foster a thoughtful dialogue around the issues facing women sustainability professionals, and how to achieve a more inclusive working environment in sustainability.

A networking reception will follow the panel, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

Register here.


New York State Environmental Law Year in Review

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 8:30 – 10 a.m. 
New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th St., NY, NY
There is no fee for this event; please register here.

Leading practitioners, regulators, and professors from New York City and Albany will review the past year’s most significant developments in New York State environmental law. Featured topics will include: pipeline litigation, onshore and offshore energy initiatives, VW settlement, recent revisions to 6 NYCRR Part 360 (solid waste), SEQRA developments, forest preserve issues, recent activities in the state legislature, major court decisions in environmental law, and more.

Thomas Berkman, General Counsel, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Donna DeCostanzo, Senior Attorney and Director, Northeast Energy and Sustainable Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council
Scott Fein, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP
Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Philip Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, St. John’s University School of Law

Amy Turner, Turner Legal PLLC & NYC Climate Action Alliance

Kevin Healy, Partner, Bryan Cave


Book Talk: The Sustainable City by Steven Cohen

Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m

Location: New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library. 476 Fifth Avenue, Program Room.

The New York Public Library Author Talk series present, Steven Cohen, executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Professor Cohen reveals how cities are embracing sustainability through infrastructure, transportation systems, and more. He argues that cities must coexist with nature. Many places are already investing in the infrastructure of the future―renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass and personal transit, and advanced sewage and waste management, for example but, according to Cohen, the modern city still has a long way to go. In this talk, the author surveys the urban systems of the 21st century, detailing policies and projects underway in cities around the world. Sustainability issues, from transportation and food waste to renewable energy, have an enduring impact on city residents. By organizing for sustainable infrastructure, Cohen argues, citizens have the power to advocate for their city’s long-term prosperity.

Register here.


Sustainable Development Speaker Series

Date: Friday, March 2, 2018

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m

Location: Hogan Hall Conference Room A

Please join the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development for a talk with Adam Parris of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay as part of the Spring 2018 Speaker Series. Having lived near estuaries all his life, Adam Parris is passionate about positive change where people, waters, and diverse species converge at the coast and about making science more relevant and useful. Currently, he leads the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay in New York City, a partnership between governmental, research, and community organizations aimed at improving resilience in the region’s coastal waters. Previously, he helped develop the Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery, an effort to integrate science on future sea level rise with flood insurance information for rebuilding and recovery efforts. He has been involved in integrating sea level rise information into the coastal planning efforts of a number of Federal agencies, as well as the states of California, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. Mr. Parris won a Presidential award as Climate Champion, a NOAA Administrator’s Award, and a Bronze medal from the Department of Commerce.

Register here.


Energy, Economics, and Geopolitics in the Gulf Arab States

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018

Time: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m

Location: Low Library

Global energy markets are experiencing a period of dramatic change. Markets have experienced several years of abrupt price drops and recoveries. New producers and new technologies are exerting price pressure in oil and gas markets. Some are even debating the future of demand for oil, the most ubiquitous fuel. Even in this time of change, however, no region remains more important for the global energy scene than the Middle East, and the influence of the Gulf Arab States remains extremely high. In order to understand current trends in energy markets, and their implications for economies and geopolitical relations of the Gulf states, the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a discussion with an outstanding panel of leading decision-makers and analysts:

  • Matar Al Neyadi, Under Secretary, UAE Ministry of Energy
  • Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science
  • Helima Croft, Managing Director and Global Head of Commodity Strategy, RBC Capital Markets
  • Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies & Director, Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, Princeton University
  • Nabil Al-Khowaiter, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Energy

Register here.


Information Session: Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East

Date: Friday, March 2, 2018

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m

Location: Webinar

This summer course takes place in Israel and Jordan and will teach participants about: the ways in which natural resource and environmental issues span geographical boundaries; how political conflicts may create, sustain and escalate these problems; and the role the environment can play in future negotiations toward constructive, peaceful and sustainable outcomes. This year the course will take place from July 1- 14 (fieldwork) and June 11, 13 and 14 (New York prep days).

During this webinar, Professors Josh Fisher and Shahar Sadeh will discuss the course expectations and learning outcomes, as well as enrollment, travel, and administrative details.

RSVP here. The deadline to submit an application of interest to the course is March 9.


2018 Climate Change Symposium

Hosted by the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 

Date: Tuesday, March 6th

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Columbia Law School, Rm. 103 Jerome Greene Hall


Two New York CLE credits available

Registration Requested

(required for CLE credit)


The symposium will feature the following presentations:


Linking Across Borders: Opportunities and Obstacles for a Joint Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-Western Climate Initiative Market by Augusta Wilson

Comments by Professor Bruce Usher of Columbia Business School


To Negotiate a Carbon Tax: A Rough Map of Interactions, Tradeoffs, and Risks by Justin Gundlach

Comments by Professor Gregg Macey of Brooklyn Law School


More information here




NYSERDA has two internships, for a project manager and an intern to work on the soft cost reduction efforts. If you know of anyone that’s the right fit please feel free to circulate.


  • Summer Paid Internships, NY-Sun – New York City Office—NYSun



  • Project Manager, NY-Sun – New York City Office




Scott Belding (

SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) Communications Director

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